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The Knicks’ Competition in the East – a Glance at the Brooklyn Nets: A Fan’s View

Yahoo Contributor Network

As the New York Knicks prepare to take the court with their AARP (Association of American Retired Players) roster, it's time to take a peek at the competition for the 2012 season. The Knicks must face the prospect of staring glumly up to the top of the league every day at the Miami Heat, with the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers behind them. There are plenty of others that line up to be robust challengers in the Eastern Conference, including the relocated Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn Nets

Upside

Yes, most would consider a fifth place overall finish in the Eastern Conference for the Brooklyn Nets a bit of a stretch - and it indeed might be. But a couple of factors gather nicely on the Nets' behalf. First, there are only a few really distinguished teams in the East. Second, teams that might ordinarily have had the inside track for higher positions have been weakened. The Atlanta Hawks? Well, the Nets secured their superstar Joe Johnson. The Orlando Magic? No Dwight Howard. The New York Knicks? An artery hardening away from big trouble. Third, the Nets have a very talented roster with Deron Williams leading the way, and he finally has some running mates. There's no telling just how enhanced Williams' play will be based on teammates that can score.

Johnson, of course, is a prolific scorer. Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez are quite capable as complements, and Chris Humphries is an enormous body and the skilled rebounder they need. The "X" factor is the energy and enthusiasm a new building will provide, in a location that has been openly desirous of any professional team to call its own since the Dodgers left more than 50 years ago. The place, and the players within it, should be buzzing.

Downside

While the Nets have a legitimate starting five, only MarShon Brooks can be considered a genuine threat off the bench. It might not be a detrimental issue unless someone important gets injured, but if that occurs, the lights will dim quickly anyway.

Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.

Sources:

  • · Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Miami Heat page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Brooklyn Nets page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Deron Williams page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Joe Johnson page
  • · Yahoo! Sports, Ball Don't Lie's 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Brooklyn Nets

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